Phuket hotel occupancy in “massive decline”

Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

PHUKET: The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s deputy governor for marketing communications, Prakit Piriyakiet, has just completed an inspection of hotels and resorts in Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak to shortlist properties for the annual Thailand Tourism Awards.

The trip revealed that there has been a massive decline in hotel occupancy in Phuket – currently at 40%, when it should be 70% at this time of year, he says.

Khao Lak and Krabi are being pounded even harder than Phuket, with occupancies now at 10% and 30%, respectively.
Bangkok, with many of its largest hotels located in the center of the protests, is “surviving with 10% occupancies,” Mr Prakit says.

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But in better news for Phuket, TTR Weekly reports that Thailand’s major travel associations are confident the Thailand Travel Mart can go ahead as scheduled, despite the extended state of emergency.

The show is scheduled for June 2-4, at Bangkok’s Muang Thong Thani, with an anticipated turnout of 355 international buyers.

Phuket may benefit from APD offload

TTR Weekly
The UK will ditch its unpopular Air Passenger Duty, (reported in Phuket NEWS Hound on May 5), replacing it with a scheme that taxes airlines per aircraft as part of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition agreement announced on March 11.

The APD, introduced by the Labour government, was criticised worldwide as an excessive tax burden that would further damage the economies of the developing world, especially island destinations in Asia such as Phuket.

Pacific Asia Travel Association Director of Communications Dale Lawrence said it was good to see the levy scrapped, but noted that the plan to tax aircraft will ultimately mean some fare increases as airlines pass the burden on to consumers.

Bangkok violence kills 10

Sky News
Ten people are reported to have been killed and some 125 wounded as protesters and troops clashed in Bangkok.

Nine men and one woman, all civilians, were killed in the violence, according to the official Erawan Emergency Centre.

Security forces have been attempting to regain control of a road near the Suan Lum Bazaar after the protesting Red Shirts moved from their fortified base.

Troops fired bullets and tear gas at the protesters in a push to clear the streets.

Witnesses say the capital has been turned into a virtual ‘war zone’.

Local journalist Andrew Chant told Sky News last night that trouble is escalating between the army and the protesters.

“The army are trying to reach an intersection of the motorway to seal it off. If they manage that, the protesters will be contained….

“This is the final battle for control of the centre of Bangkok,” he said.

— Gazette Editors

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